HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Their music has been described as “southern soul and curious grit.” And they’re bringing their harmonies to Huntsville for the first time.
We caught up with Kassie and Ben Wilson in their van in Hickory, North Carolina. “This is what we write songs for and what we do all the work for is to be out here on the road singing for people,” Ben told me. They had just started their current tour.
My One and Only’s music is Americana. Ben describes it as a mix of a bunch of different things. “And there’s so much freedom in the genre of Americana,” he said, “You can be anywhere from country to folk, singer, songwriter. You can be totally lyric-based. You can be kind of bluegrassy. And it fits with our stuff because we kind of have a mixed bag of things.”
They come from different musical backgrounds. Kassie grew up doing country. Ben did a lot of alternative rock. “So, we melted those two together and our lyrics are a big part of what we do,” Ben added.
You’ll see that in their performances. “The stories that we tell between the songs and the things that inspire us and inspire the lyrics are a big part of our live show,” Ben said, “So that fits really well in the Americana genre.”
The songs are their own. “95 percent of the songs that we are singing are songs that we wrote,” Ben said proudly, “Kassie and I together over the last five years or so.”
Kassie’s from Alabama. Ben’s from Iowa. They compliment each other creatively. “I don’t play guitar but if I come up with a melody or something and just kind of hear it in my head, I hear voices in my head,” she said laughing, “I’m just kidding. So, I can just hear it and then I can sing it to Ben, and then he can pick it out on the guitar.”
They focus on writing for themselves rather than other artists. “The songs that we write aren’t necessarily songs that we’re just writing to get on the radio or to make money or whatever,” Ben said, “The songs that mean something to us and we feel like as so personal to us, we want to be able to share that message ourselves with the people that we’re singing to.”
On stage, Ben plays guitar and an old suitcase he bought at a thrift store. “He built this kick drum, and he plays the drum with his foot while he’s playing guitar,” Kassie said smiling, “and so some of our fans call it the invisible drummer.”
Kassie plays harmonica and tambourine. “We try to make as much noise as possible for two people,” she said, “And I think we do pretty good.” Ben smiled and agreed.
The couple met in 2006 and started dating. “At that point, I was doing like country soul,” Kassie told me, “And so Ben just started playing guitar for me and we were playing on different songwriter rounds and stuff like that.”
Married for 12 years now, they spend a lot of time on the road. “I love seeing new cities and new cultures and stuff like that so with its struggles, it really is a blessing,” Ben said. Kassie added, “If you can travel around for a month in a van where you can touch one side to the other, and I’m touching both sides of our van and your marriage still works, you’ve got a strong marriage.” They both laughed.
When they do get a day off, they enjoy hitting the links at different golf courses in the cities they play.
“It’s nice to get on the greens and spend four hours and beat this guy because I’m an amazing golfer,” Kassie said looking for confirmation from her husband, Ben laughed and said, “Yeah I don’t know how accurate that is.”
My One and Only has played gigs in Cullman and Somerville before. “But this is the first time we’ve actually played in Huntsville,” Kassie said, “And I’m really excited.
Playing Stovehouse will be like a homecoming concert for the Brewer High School grad. “I’m hoping to see a lot of people from high school and a lot of family and all that so we’re really looking forward to playing there,” Kassie said with a smile.
The Friday night Huntsville concert is outdoors at the Stovehouse hub stage. And it’s free. J.P. Morton of Huntsville will get the show started at 7 pm. Another Alabama native, singer-songwriter, Wyatt Edmondson from Montgomery will open for My One and Only.